Sunday, December 29, 2013

Snippets of December 2013

It has been a year full of blessings, but this past month was especially full and with many moments to  treasure. Here are just a few:

A couple of weeks ago Lucas had his first public presentation at church. Needless to say, Lucas’ cuteness made our cheeks sore from smiling! he was the smallest one there, but he played his part beautifully (He’s on the front row, second from the end on the left).

 There was a month long campaign at our church called “putting your life in order”. Mario is part of the pastors committee at church so he asked for a donation of books so that we at the YWAM base could participate. They donated 30 books and Mario had a banner printed out to get everyone in the spirit of things. It was very good to get everyone thinking and praying together about changes we needed to make in YWAM family and in our personal lives.
 We had major flooding twice during the past heavy rains in the PROAME (drug rehab program) men’s dorms. The water reached mid calf and much of the furniture (made of plywood) was ruined. We had to pay for an excavator to made a ditch to keep from future flooding.

 We had a group from a church in Brasilia (about 3 hours away) come on an excursion by bus to bring  all the YWAM staff a package containing some hygiene products and pray for us. This rarely happens around here, so we were overjoyed to know that people are remembering us and praying for us and care enough to travel a few hours just to give us therse things personally. We felt taken care of by the Lord with this gesture.

 We just returned from YWAM Family assembly which takes place every two years. It was called  “The impact of the waves”.

This year we had the honor of having Loren Cunningham (founder of YWAM) with us to encourage us and participate in a historic event that took place in the city where the event happened (Caldas Novas with a population of about 20,000).  YWAM made a partnership with a Christian Publishing company that had 20,300 Bibles (Full, Old and New Testament) printed for about $2.50 each. We raised the money to pay for the Bibles between many of the bases in Brazil. The goal was to give a Bible out in every home that didn’t have one.
Jimmy Stier (founder of YWAM in Brazil) translating for Loren Cunningham
Before the assembly took place, our evangelism ministry team went to Caldas Novas and joined several other YWAM teams to help prepare for this big event that took place on the 19th of December.  Wellington Oliveira (president of YWAM Brazil) worked hard for many months prior to prepare the city and get the churches to catch the vision. The next four pictures below I copied from his facebook page:
Above are the pastors of Caldas who embraced the cause in a special pastor’s breakfast 
 A week before the assembly began there was a Bible Reading Marathon that took place in the central town square.
 The city was divided into districts in order to cover the entire city.
Finally on the 19th we all gathered for the big day of distribution...One Bible for every home!

 Here we are at the city gym (about 1000 Ywamers from all over Brazil)
 We were split into teams and we each were assigned an area on the map to cover:
 This was our group (notice Lucas was there with us- my parents also took place in the Assembly so they generously looked after Danny so that I could go).
 Lucas is already a little missionary. 
 All the boxes loaded in our car and ready to go.
 First we gathered at the local church in our marked off area  (some of the members also joined)
 The idea was not only to give the Bibles, but also encourage, witness, pray...and hopefully welcome new members into God’s family (which happened on a great scale- Praise God!)

 I was so proud watching Lucas. It was hot and sunny and we had to do a lot of walking, but he never complained...we knocked at one house and no one was home so I said, “oh man that’s too bad, this house will not get a Bible and maybe they don’t know Jesus!” Lucas response was priceless, in a sincerely worried tone of voice he exclaimed, “oh no! What are we going to do now?!” It took me a while to convince him that we had to keep going to the other houses!

 Of course we also had some much needed down time and were able to enjoy the hot water swimming pools.  Lucas also made some new friends. This is Davi, son of our friends Junio and Lorena who were missionaries on our base but today live in south Africa. Lucas and him are just two weeks apart.
 After our wonderful time in Caldas Novas, being renewed and refreshed both physically and spiritually we returned home and just a couple days ago I ran into Jonas’ sister Talita, who I had last seen when she was two months pregnant and then she just disappeared with no contact information to track her down. Jonas’ cousin finally was able to contact her and we got an address and had him take us to her. She is living in an invasion nearby with the father of her baby who is much older than her and is a drug traffic ant in that area.
We went to visit her and brought her to our house yesterday to spend the day. Her little boy, Davi, was born November 11 and she has been all alone taking care of this poor boy at just 15!
Jonas was excited to meet his nephew and see his sister after about 8 months.
I don’t know if you can really see from this picture, but little Davi is really needing medical assistance as he has some strange white blotches on his skin, a lot of “helmet head” on his scalp and severe diaper rash. We are doing our best to assist her with the necessary aid in the next days.
 During her visit in our home, we took her to visit her grandfather (who is actually the man that raised her so she calls dad). He had the privilege of meeting his great-grandson.
 A very special photo:
 It had been many months since I had been able to visit Mr. Carlos (grandpa) so I was shocked at the situation the house had deteriorated to. I could tell Jonas was also very upset. This roof is about to give in any moment.

 I told Jonas we are going to try to get some of the PROAME guys to volunteer to fix the roof and clean up the house as much as possible before we go to Curitiba.

While Talita spent the day with us she told me about a neighbour of hers, who is a single mother raising 6 kids all by herself. I made a chocolate cake and when we went to drop Talita off I told her to show me the “house” (if you can call it that). Normally I don’t have my camera with me and don’t like to take pictures like this because I don’t want to offend anyone, but since I had taken my camera to get those shots of Jonas and Talita with their grandpa, I asked to take these shots:

 The little boy is sitting on one of the two mattresses where they all sleep.

 This little guy was a charmer, he kept asking me to take pictures of him.

 This is in front of the house. The smallest kids were all running around naked and they were all terribly dirty with tangled hair. This neighbourhood called J.K.  is just 10 minutes from our home!

 I should have taken a picture of the empty baking pan where the cake had could see all the little fingernail marks the kids left behind! I’ll be sure to bake more cake next time!!!